It took me quite some time this week to decide on a destination for this week’s food travels but as soon as I spotted the picture of Dingle pies from my Irish Food & Cooking cookbook my mind was made up. Although I had never eaten a dingle pie before, I had eaten something very similar, a pasty which is a filled pastry case often associated with Cornwall in Great Britain. When I was a child, ladies at my grandmother’s church used to make them for a fundraising drive, and she always ordered some for my family and my aunt’s family. The pies I made this past weekend are named after the Dingle Peninsula, a western area of the country located on the Atlantic Coast. It’s considered to be one of the country’s most beautiful regions.
Although the recipe calls for mutton or lamb (Dingle pies are traditionally made with mutton), I used some meat I had on hand and I thought turned out equally fine. Although gravy would have been a nice topping, I didn’t think the pies were dry at all and definitely tasted good without.
Maks 6 small pies
1 lb. boneless mutton or lamb
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 potato, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
1 egg, beaten
salt and ground black pepper
For the shortcrust pastry
5 cups plain flour
generous 1 cup butter
1/2 cup very cold water
1.) To make the pastry, sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter into the flour with the fingertips or a pastry blender, lifting the mixture as much as possible to aerate. Add the chilled water. Mix with a knife or fork until the mixture clings together. Turn it on a floured worktop and knead lightly once or twice until smooth. Wrap in baking parchment or foil and leave in the refrigerator to relax for 20 minutes before using.
2.) Trim any fat or grissle from the meat and cut it up into very small pieces. Place in a large bowl and add the diced vegetables. Mix well and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3.) Cut a third off the ball of pastry and reserve to make the lids of then pies. Roll out the rest and using a small plate as a guide and re-rolling the pastry as necessary, cut out six circles. Divide the meat and vegetable mixture between the circles, piling it in the middle of each.
4.) Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out six smaller circles, about 4 inches across. Lay these on top. Dampen the edges of the pastry bases, bring the pastry up around the meat, pleat it together to fit the lid and pinch the edges together.
5.) Make a small hole in the top of each pie to let out the steam. Brush them with beaten egg and slide the pies onto baking sheet. Bake in the pre-heated oven for an hour. Serve hot or cold.
To accompany the pies I made baked courgettes with farmhouse cheese. These were extremely easy to make, simply cut the courgettes in half, sprinkle with some grated cheese (I used the one shown below) and a few pats of butter and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, voila!
Julie is a librarian by day, die-hard travel fanatic and writer by night. When she’s not traveling, she’s either testing out a new recipe or being a foodie in Pittsburgh. If you're interested in seeing where she travels to or what she makes next, follow along via the links below!